Estate planning in Lake County, Illinois is simply the act of deciding what you want to happen to your assets after your death. It usually entails making plans about funeral arrangements, as well as plans for end of life care.
While the drafting of a will (the document that dictates what is to be done with the decedent's property after death) is usually the central component of any estate plan, there are several other elements which you may want to include, depending on your goals, and your financial situation.
Besides a will, a quality estate plan will include a living will, which gives your doctors and relatives instructions concerning your healthcare in the event that you become incapacitated, funeral arrangements, and instructions on organ donations.
For anyone who has children who are still minors, it is very crucial to make arrangements for their custody and care, just in case the unthinkable happens. You should think of a family member or very close friend who you know would be willing and able to take care of your children, and designate them as the person who would take custody. Of course, it's important to discuss this matter with that person before you actually do it.
What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Lake County, Illinois?
The answer to this question depends largely on your goals and priorities, as well as your age, health, and the amount of assets you have.
If you are young and unmarried, estate planning probably doesn't need to be on your radar, unless you are very ill, independently wealthy, or perhaps if you work in a very dangerous job, such as the military.
There is one group of unmarried people for whom estate planning in Lake County, Illinois is absolutely crucial: adults who are not married, but have a life partner who they'd like to provide for in the event of death. There are many rights that automatically attach with marriage, such as the right to inherit if a spouse dies without a will, the right to make medical decisions for the other spouse if they become incapacitated, etc. If you and your partner are, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to get married, you will have to take several steps to secure these rights, such as granting power of attorney, and writing them into your will.
If you are elderly, and have a large amount of assets in Lake County, Illinois, estate planning may be more important at this stage of your life than any other. While estate planning deals with some morbid and unpleasant subjects (requiring us to confront the reality of our own mortality), it is crucial if you wish to live your life secure in the knowledge that your loved ones will be provided for to the extent that your assets allow.
Do I Need a Lake County, Illinois Estate Planning Attorney?
Because estate planning can be a complicated process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Lake County, Illinois who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.